In the last decade, more and more brands have started to embrace the use of bronze in their watches. The material, and its ability to “come alive” on the wrist, adds a unique quality that many collectors enjoy. For Norqain this isn’t breaking news as over the last two years they’ve introduced multiple references making use of the material. Today, that total increases with the release of the Limited Edition Freedom 60 GMT Bronze in Midnight Blue.
After spending a few days with the reference, here’s the skinny on this new release from the young brand.
The Freedom 60 line has been a main staple of the brand for quite some time. However, this was the first time I was able to really get a feel on how it wears. At 40mm, it manages to hit a sweet spot for my 7.5 inch wrist. Thickness comes in 14.5mm, which may turn off a few of our readers. But in hand, this is more than acceptable when it means we get a beautiful box sapphire crystal. That simple detail elevates the dial, thus elevating the overall appearance of the watch.
There was however one measurement even I was weary of. And that is the 49.2mm lug to lug. For a relatively small width, this seemed excessive. Yet once in hand, the watch feels good on the wrist. Not quite hugging it but at the same time benefiting from the curved sides. Somehow, when you add all these measurements and specifications together, the watch still manages to have a commanding and secure presence on the wrist when worn.
Finally, there is a mixture of polished and brushed surfaces on the case. This decision, especially having the bezel brushed, gives the watch a good everyday wear appeal.
This is where the watch truly shines. Though green and the gold-ish lustre of bronze looked great on the previous Freedom 60 GMT Bronze, the vibrancy of the blue here truly stands out. It has this sunburst pattern that looks great in direct sunlight while also having that shine off lacquer. When coupled with the bronze markers and hands, it just works.
At the centre of the dial, you’ll find a 24-hour track that you can use for displaying home time. The lacquered red tipped hand here is bright and legible against the blue background. And the split black and white colour of the track let’s the wearer immediately know whether it’s day or night at home. Though I would have liked the blue and bronze colours to continue here, the white and black do break up the design, thus emphasising the importance of the complication on the watch.
Powering the Freedom 60 GMT Bronze and displayed behind a crystal caseback is the Calibre NN20/2 movement. It was made in partneship with Kenissi and has been used on Norqain watches since 2020. It has a generous 70 hours of power reserve, which is great for those trips where you bring more than one watch. It also beats at a smooth 28,800 bph and is chronometer certified, ensuring -4 to +6 seconds per day accuracy. On my example, it’s been running a stellar +1 a day.
But the best part about this movement is that it has true GMT functionality. The hour hand can be moved in hour increments, forwards and backwards. This allows for easy adjustment to local time once you reach your destination, without ever having to interfere with your home time display.
The Freedom 60 GMT Bronze is available with multiple strap options. You can get it on the Blue Perlon strap pictured here, which has a a rubber underside – a blessing on hot summer days. You also can get the watch on a Nortide Ivory strap or an Alcantara Ebony strap. I’ve detailed these straps that first made their appearance on the Freedom 60 Chrono 40mm here.
And finally, all three straps complete the bronze look with a clasp made of the same material.
After spending a few days with the Freedom 60 GMT Bronze Midnight Blue, I can honestly say this is my favourite release of Norqain’s. The colours here are vibrant in certain types of lighting and subdued in others. And all of this is beautifully displayed under that boxed sapphire crystal.
The fact that the watch also has an above average power reserve and features “true” GMT functionality is all icing on a cake that’s already pretty appealing. And finally, the bronze case has just the right amount of brushing and polishing. This all leads to a package I feel will attract more collectors to the brand and keep their diehards very happy.
Norqain Freedom 60 GMT Bronze Midnight Blue pricing and availability:
The Norqain Freedom 60 GMT Bronze Midnight Blue is now available on the brands website. It’s a limited edition of 300 pieces, with prices ranging from $3990 USD to to $4150 USD, depending on which of the three straps you choose.
Freedom 60 GMT Bronze
NNZ2100ZG/A215/20APR.18Z, NNZ2100ZG/A215/20INT.18Z, NNZ2100ZG/A215/20EN.18Z
Bronze w/both brushed and polished finishes
Blue Perlon Strap, Nortide Ivory Strap or Alcantara Ebony Strap
NORQAIN Manufacture Calibre NN20/2,
Time, Date and “True” Gmt
USD 4,150 on the Blue Perlon. USD 3,990 on either the Nortide Ivory or Alcantara Ebony
Norqain’s Website – 300 piece Limited Edition